Mathematics and Statistics

Study Abroad in Mathematics and Statistics

Many mathematics and statistics majors study abroad during their junior year. 

If you are planning to study abroad and be a math major, you should see a mathematician in the department in the Spring of your sophomore year to talk about your plans. More information for mathematics majors can be found just below.

If you are planning to study abroad and be a statistics major, you should see a statistician in the department at the start of the Fall semester of your sophomore year to talk about your plans. More information for statistics majors can be found by scrolling down past the mathematics information.

No matter which major you are planning, you should also make use of the school resources like the Study Abroad Office. You can also read comments by previous mathematics majors who studied abroad on our Study Abroad comments page.

Studying Abroad as a Mathematics Major

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Study abroad programs often require that you declare a major before submitting a study abroad application.  Hence you should consider declaring your major early in the Spring semester of your sophomore year.  This way, you can discuss your study abroad plans with your advisor in mathematics.
  • Some study abroad programs are specifically aimed at mathematics, such as the Budapest program and MASS program from Penn State.  For other programs, it is not always possible to take math courses while abroad, and even if you can, sometimes you can't determine which courses are appropriate until you get there.  This is why it is important to discuss your plans with your advisor in your sophomore year.
  • If you take one or more math courses while abroad, you need to petition the department to have the courses count toward the major.  Your petition should include as much information as possible about the courses, including the title, professor, text, course description, and syllabus.  If the course has a web site, this information is often available at the web site, so that all you need to give us is the url for web site.  Petitions should be sent to the department chair via email.  We encourage you to contact us while abroad to let us know what math courses you are taking.
  • For study abroad petitions, approvals are contingent on submission of a transcript showing the grade earned in the course, in order to aid in student advising. In other words, you make the petition as outlined above, then after taking the course(s), submit a copy of your transcript to your mathematics advisor. Upon receipt of that transcript, the courses will be applied towards your major as specified in the petition approval.
  • It can be difficult to take required courses like Math 350 or 355 while abroad.  In the past, it has often been most convenient for math majors to study abroad during the Fall semester due to Math 350 and 355 being offered every Spring.  We have started to offer one of these two core courses each Fall, though. Especially if you take Math 350 or 355 as a sophomore, then doing your study abroad during the Spring semester should pose no difficulties to completing the math major.
  • If you study abroad during the Spring and want to participate in the honors program, you will need to take the Honors Qualifying Examination while abroad.  This is easy to do provided you find someone (professor, teaching assistant, or administrator) who is willing to proctor the exam.  We email a copy of the exam to the proctor, who then either faxes or mails your exam paper back to us.  If the exams are mailed back, you may need to pay the postage.

If you have any questions about the math major and study abroad programs, you should discuss them with the department chair or your advisor.

Studying Abroad as a Statistics Major

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Study abroad programs often require that you declare a major before submitting a study abroad application.  Hence you should consider declaring your major late in the Fall or early in the Spring semester of your sophomore year.  This way, you can discuss your study abroad plans with your advisor in statistics. We advise you talk to a statistician in the Department early on to address the next point below.
  • You should pay careful attention to satisfying the pre-requisites for Stat 495, the senior seminar in Statistics. This course is offered in the Fall of the senior year. The pre-requisites are successful completion of Stat 230, Stat 370 (formerly Stat 430), and the computing requirement for the major. Stat 370 requires completion of Stat 360 (Probability), and this sequence is often completed in the junior year. However, you may need to complete this sequence as a sophomore in order to spend an entire year abroad, depending on the offerings of your program. For some programs, it is not always possible to take statistics courses while abroad, and even if you can, sometimes you can't determine which courses are appropriate until you get there.  This is why it is extremely important to discuss your plans with your advisor in your sophomore year.
  • If you take one or more statistics courses while abroad, you need to petition the department to have the courses count toward the major.  Your petition should include as much information as possible about the courses, including the title, professor, text, course description, and syllabus.  If the course has a web site, this information is often available at the web site, so that all you need to give us is the url for web site.  Petitions should be sent to the department chair via email. We encourage you to contact us in advance of taking the courses if you need to substitute them for required courses, and otherwise contact us while abroad to let us know what statistics courses you are taking (such as for electives).
  • For study abroad petitions, approvals are contingent on submission of a transcript showing the grade earned in the course, in order to aid in student advising. In other words, you make the petition as outlined above, then after taking the course(s), submit a copy of your transcript to your statistics advisor. Upon receipt of that transcript, the courses will be applied towards your major as specified in the petition approval.
  • If you decide to take Stat 230, Stat 360 or Stat 370 while abroad, it is crucial to get the course approved before you go abroad.  You should start planning and investigating courses early since it may take a while to find a suitable course.  Consultation with your statistics advisor is essential.
  • If you study abroad during the Spring and want to participate in the honors program, you will need to take the Honors Qualifying Examination while abroad.  This is easy to do provided you find someone (professor, teaching assistant, or administrator) who is willing to proctor the exam.  We email a copy of the exam to the proctor, who then either faxes or mails your exam paper back to us.  If the exams are mailed back, you may need to pay the postage.

If you have any questions about the statistics major and study abroad programs, you should discuss them with the department chair or your advisor.